Una Walters, 87, had no fear of wrangling a red-bellied black snake which had found its way into the South Grafton Ex-Servicemen’s Club last Friday. Photo: JoJo Newby
Una Walters, 87, had no fear of wrangling a red-bellied black snake which had found its way into the South Grafton Ex-Servicemen’s Club last Friday. Photo: JoJo Newby

Bingo! Una, 87, stops red-bellied black snake

EIGHTY-seven-year-old bingo enthusiast Una Walters responded to the cry of "snake" faster than she could say "house" at South Grafton Ex-Servicemen's club last week.

A red-bellied black snake interrupted the weekly meat raffle on Friday by crawling up a lady's leg.

As the club's secretary manager Col Green panicked and scrambled for a handbag to capture the metre-long intruder, one of his most loyal customers leapt into action.

"I turn around, and here's Una standing there with the snake in one hand," Mr Green said.

"I'm not scared of the bastard!" Una shouted as she held the snake near its head.

It was about 6.45pm last Friday and the meat draw was well under way when someone from a table in the centre of the room yelled: "Snake! Snake! Snake!"

Commotion ensued and people scattered from their chairs as the red-bellied black slithered its way between the feet of scurrying patrons and club staff.

"He (the snake) had crawled up a woman's leg and tried to curl around it," Mr Green said.

"I grabbed a lady's handbag, hoping to get the snake in there so we could send him on his way."

The perpetrator evaded being caught for some time until Una intervened.

"I turn around and here's Una standing there with the snake in one hand," Mr Green said.

"Una may not have been scared of the snake, but I tell you what, the two women either side of her were."

Mr Green said the South Grafton woman was "a real old faithful" and was raised on a dairy farm, perhaps where she learnt her snake-wrangling skills.

"Una's always at the meat draw and at bingo," he said.

The snake was returned to the outdoors.

Snakes are commonly displaced following floods and anyone who encounters them is advised to get well out of their way and call the WIRES rescue line on 6643 4055.

Snake fact

The two most common snakebites in the Northern Rivers are the eastern brown snake and the Clarence River rough-scaled snake.


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